The prospect of having your house repossessed is daunting. While no one hopes for a situation like this to happen, there are 1,000s of repossession applications made by lenders in the UK every year.
The danger of home repossession makes it important that you are well-informed about this subject in case you face the unfortunate situation where you have not met your repayments.
You may be wondering what exactly a repossession is, and whether it can be reversed once an application has been made. We’ve answered both questions, and a couple more, in the blog below.
What is a House Repossession?
A house repossession is when your mortgage lender starts the legal process of reclaiming your home, typically because you are feeling to make your mortgage repayments. Most mortgage lenders leave this as a final option, but if you go through a few months of missed payments in a row, they may decide that they have no other choice. Of course, a lenders tolerability for missed payments may vary.
Once a mortgage lender has decided to repossess your property, they will make an application to the court. This application will typically provide details of all your missed payments, the total level of arrears, and total amount of money you owe.
How common are House Repossessions?
In the final three months of last year, the number of house repossessions more than doubled compared to the same period in the year before. Overall, the commonality of house repossessions may fluctuate according to interest rates, inflation, and the cost of living, as these all have a direct impact on homeowners’ ability to meet their mortgage repayments.
According to data from the Ministry of Justice, there was a total of 733 homes taken into possession between October 2022 and December 2022. There was also a total of 3,160 applications for possessions made by lenders during this time.
While this number may seem small in the grand scheme of things in the UK, you should notice that the numbers of applications is much higher. Lenders will do this to put pressure on you to make your repayments – but there are still steps you can take to stop a house repossession from going through.
Can A House Repossession Be Reversed?
You can stop a house repossession in the UK using something called an ‘N244 form’. This form is used to ask a court to cancel an order to repossess your property – and it will require the judge to look at the details of your case, and potentially schedule a hearing.
When submitting an N244 form, you will have to demonstrate that you have a repayment plan for the remaining mortgage amount. However, you should apply for a court hearing at least 3 days (but preferably more) before your eviction date, because if you submit the form too late, you may be evicted while at court.
If you want to get hold of an N244 form, then you can download it for free from the UK government website. However, to make an application on notice, you will typically have to pay a fee of £275.
Most importantly, you must ensure that you complete your N244 form without any errors. You will usually need to provide all the following information:
- Your details
- The capacity in which you are making the application
- Why you are making the application
- Whether you are attaching a draft order with your N244 form
- How you would like the hearing to take place
- When the hearing will take place, with which level of judge
- Who the application will be served to
- Any evidence that you will rely on
- Date and signature
It is highly recommended that you find a legal expert who can support you with the completion of this form. Although it may seem simple at first glance, you should remember that there is a lot at stake. While finding the funds for this expert may be a challenge, it is strongly recommended to give you the best possible chance of reversing the repossession.
Can I Get a Mortgage After Repossession?
Yes, it is completely possible for you to get a mortgage after repossession in the UK. However, it will make the process of doing so more difficult, because any future mortgage lenders may consider you a ‘risk’. This will likely result in them increasing their interest rates, or asking for a larger deposit, to compensate.
Furthermore, the more time that has passed since the repossession took place, the more likely you are to be successful.
When you make your new application, you will be asked about your affordability. The lender will also expect that any previous mortgage shortfall has been paid off. You’ll also want to ensure you have rebuilt your credit level to a respectable score.
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